Link Lovin` meme…

Ages ago Nay tagged me for this meme and I am only just getting around to passing it on!

Here are the rules:
1. Pick one of your favorite blogs leave a comment on their blog telling them about the meme, then write about how you found them, why you keep reading them, and what they blog about.
2. You pick a blog from their blogroll, YOU HAVE NEVER READ, give a small blurb about what you liked about their blog…. comment on the blog to let them know about the meme (if you have nothing nice to say PICK ANOTHER ok.. this is all about the love baby!)”

I thought about this a lot and I want to pass it onto two people whose blogs I love to read because I wanted to choose one blogger based in Japan and another based in Australia because while I started my blog in Japan I am now back in Australia for awhile and I want this link lovin` to cross over onto both countries!

Firstly, a Japan based blogger who I love to read is TJ in Japan – I am pretty sure I found T`s blog linked off perhaps Sara or Nay`s blog or perhaps in the comments of another blog I read. I am a fairly new reader to this blog since she only started blogging earlier this year. I started reading this blog around the same time  as Gaijin Wife`s blog. T is a fellow Aussie who blog about her family and life in Japan. Recently she was so kind and sent me translations of her wedding ceremony as she knew I was worried about what to do with our ceremony because there will be people there that do not speak or understand English very well! I do read a lot of Japan based blogs especially blogs belonging to other females with Japanese partners and this is, like I said, one of my favourites! T is coming back to Australia at Christmas time and I hope I get a chance to meet her then as she is from Brisbane too!

And now I am supposed to choose someone from her blogroll who I have never read except she doesn`t have a blog roll and all her recent comments are by people whose blogs I already read! So T if you are reading please link to someone in the comments section whose blog would be on your blogroll if you had one who I might not be reading!

Now, the Aussie blog I choose was also a tough choice! But in the end I decided to pass it over to Enny who I got to see last weekend when she was in town for Jen`s goodbye party! Enny came to Tokyo last year and that is when I got to meet her for the first time! It was awesome and she was very much like her blog! If that makes sense.

I found Enny`s blog through Jen`s blog which was one of my first non-Japan blogs that I read! hehe! Enny, who has recently just gotten engaged to her beau, writes about her everyday life and her family and what I love most about is that her obvious love for her family! She will be celebrating 600 posts soon so you should definitely pop over and give her some ideas for it and also congratulate her on her engagement! I was lucky enough to congratulate her in person last weekend!!!

Enny`s blogroll is quite long and contains a lot of blogs I don`t read so I did inni mini miny mo to choose one and I came up with Oh! How Lovely! ! I have never stumbled onto this blog before during my internet travels but it was a lovely find! Firstly her design is pink! I LOVE PINK so I am now in love! And the best thing about her is she is American which means this little meme will be going across three countries now (It may have already but I am not sure!)- So there you go! Australia, Japan & America. Perhaps she will pass it onto someone in another country! I am all for blogging in the name of international relations! I stumbled onto the about page and it says Jaime (blog owner`s name!) “Just a 20-something in Chicago trying to keep my head above water. Neurotic, over-thinking, shameless celebrity gossip addict, bad tv watching girl with expensive taste and no money but completely adorable, if I do say so myself.” – I will need to take the time to read more of this blog but her most recent post is about how your blog got it`s name so why don`t you head over and let her know how your blog name came about!!!

CHERRY BLOSSOMS

 

Cherry1In Japan, the tree called Sakura, also widely known as cherry blossom, is a distinguished flowering plant. Cherry blossom is a hallmark for the evanescence and fragility of human life and represents the evolution of the Japanese culture throughout the years. The fleeting life of the flowers, their paramount beauty, and their speedy death, has often been analogous to mortality; for this reason, cherry blossoms are highly emblematic.

The planting of cherry trees began in 1912 when the Japanese Mayor Yukio Ozaki of Tokyo gave 3,000 cherry trees as a gift of friendship to Washington, D.C. Every year, the National Cherry Blossom Festival commemorates and honors the continued relationship between Japan and the United States.

It took so much effort from many people to ensure the safe arrival of the cherry trees. On January 6, 1910, a total of 2,000 trees made it from Japan to Seattle, Washington. It was on the 19th of the same month when a team from the Department of Agriculture found out that the plants had been infested with nematodes and insects. Unfortunately, the trees had to be destroyed to protect the American growers. However, this unexpected circumstance did not deter the two countries. Mayor Ozaki suggested a second donation be made, this time, increasing the number of trees to 3,020. Twelve varieties of cherry trees were on board the S.S. Awa Maru all the way from Yokohama to Seattle. The twelve varieties that reached Washington on the 26th of March 1912 were comprised of the following:

• Somei-Yoshino ………………………………1,800
• Ari ake……………………………………………. 100
• Fugen-zo………………………………………….120
• Fuku-roku-ju…………………………………..50
• Gyo-i-ko……………………………………………20
• Ichiyo………………………………………………..160
• Jo­nioi……………………………………………….80
• Kwan-zan…………………………………………350
• Mikuruma­gayeshi…………………………20
• Shira-yuki………………………………………..130
• Surugadai­nioi………………………………..50
• Taki­nioi…………………………………………..140

The gift giving was not one-sided. Over the years, gifts from Japan and the United States have been exchanged. The latter reciprocated Japan’s act of kindness by sending them a gift of flowering dogwood tress in 1915. One day in 1952, the parent stock of Washington’s first cherry trees had fallen into decline during World War II. Japan sought help from the American government to restore the original site. Consequently and almost immediately, the National Park Service shipped offshoot from the descendants of those same exact trees in an attempt to replace the fallen cherry trees along the Arakawa River near Tokyo.
Japan holds plenty of variety of cherry blossoms (Sakura). More than 200 cultivars can be found there, though only one variety seems to stand out among others. The most popular in Japan is the Somei Yushino whose flowers are almost pure white like the clouds, and tinged with the lightest pink mostly near the stem. They bloom and usually start to fall within a week, just right before the leaves emerge. This period allows the cherry trees to look absolutely white from the top to the middle. Hanami, or cherry blossom viewing, is a favorite pastime of the Japanese. They picnic under a blooming sakura or ume tree, eat lunch and drink sake in happy feasts. This famous practice is said to have started as early as the 8th century. Although it was first made exclusive to the elite of the Imperial Court, later on, it spread to samurai society. By the Edo period, it eventually became accessible to the common people as well.

Where flowers bloom so does hope.”-Lady Bird Johnson

The festival in the year 2012 was its centennial anniversary and was marked with a five-week celebration. The National Cherry Blossom Festival has fully developed from small beginnings to the greatest springtime commemoration of the nation. Every year, the festival is open to around 1.5 million people wishing to witness Washington’s Tidal Basin burst into color. The beautiful display of floral fireworks astonishes locals and visitors from all around the world. It starts on March 20 and ends on April 14. The festival involves 3,000 trees, floats, parades, giant balloons, and musical entertainment.

On the other hand, the International Cherry Blossom Festival is held every spring in Macon, Georgia. With 300,000 Yushino cherry trees that bloom in college campuses, around downtown, and the neighborhoods of Macon in late March each year, Macon has obtained the title “Cherry Blossom Capital of the World.” It is a ten-day celebration that features people across different ages and from all lifestyles.

landscaping with cherry treesIn fact when landscaping companies in Colombia SC get together they have a contest on who can come up with the best design using cherry trees. For several years straight Columbia Landscaping and Tree Care has won  the bragging rights.

The cherry blossom festivals have spawned many landscaping ideas. People from all over the world are designing Japanese gardens. These gardens sometimes include blue pools with hardscaped walkways.

For more ideas using landscaping with cherry trees and other plants check out landscape companies in Hilton Head, SC.

Tokyo is one of the best places to start a tour in Japan. The nearby cities like Osaka and Himeji are frequently visited, too. Stockholm in Sweden also has its own feast of the cherry trees. Kungsträdgârden (King’s Garden), the Stockholm’s most central park, is where trees herald the arrival of spring.

It is also possible to enjoy the colorful trees in Shanghai, China. The scenery is best viewed at Gucun Park where hundreds of trees cover more that 13 hectares. If you happen to be in South Korea, visit Seoul and enjoy the Youido blossom festival. Furthermore, head to the Kew Gardens in Surrey if you are in London and wanting to watch cherry blossoms. For locals in and travelers to Vancouver, never miss the festival they hold from April 5 to April 28. Include also in your itinerary the High Park Cherry Blossom Walk in Toronto that starts in late April to early May. Toronto, specifically the High Park, is another recipient of Japan’s precious gift – a collection of delicate Yoshino cherry trees most famous for their fluffy, snow-white blossoms.

Several more Asian, European, and North American countries not mentioned above experience the grandeur of this flower display.

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